Monday, October 26, 2015

Black Canary #5 - A Review

Normally I start my reviews with a set-up for the media in question. A plot summary, more often than not. I can't do that with Black Canary #5, however, because there's no plot to speak of. In fact, looking back on the past issues, I realize that there hasn't been a lot going on overall. Events occur but there's very little rhyme or reason behind any of it and there are more mysteries than there are solid facts.

Most of this issue is devoted toward the characters discussing all the mysteries but no progress being made on any of the on-going story-lines.  There's the mystery of who the mute guitarist Ditto is, what connection she has to the government group that gave Dinah her sonic scream power and what any of this has to do with Dinah's amnesic ex-husband and the second group that he's apparently part of now that is also interested in Ditto.

This issue reveals two new mysteries - the revelation that Dinah's entire family died under strange circumstances when she was young and the idea that, somehow, her record label is involved in all of this madness as well and that Dinah's discovery as a singing talent was no accident. And all of these mysteries ignore further mysteries such as who is the white-clad ninja woman who saved Ditto in the last issue and spends this issue trying to steal Dinah's blood in the issue's one action sequence?

All this ambiguity might be tolerable if the characters were at least interesting. Unfortunately, they aren't. Dinah's band-mates all have the personality of dishwater and Dinah herself is a total cipher beyond being the standard "tough chick". At first I thought writer Brenden Fletcher had been trying to keep this book free of any previous continuity but now I find myself wondering if he had any direction from editorial for this book other than "Black Canary becomes a punk singer" or if there is any eventual direction for where any of this is going.

At least the artwork is good, even if there's precious little action for it to depict. The talents of Pia Guerra of Y: The Last Man fame are completely wasted here. Sandy Jarrell closes the book out in a memorable fashion with Lee Loughridge offering up the usual stellar color art.

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